The IT(Iliotibial) band is a connective tissue that runs along the outer length of your thigh. It is a multipurpose tendon that runs down the length of the outer thigh, from the top of the pelvis (ilium) to the shin bone (tibia). The IT Band plays a vital role and is responsible for keeping your hips and knees stable, particularly during rapid, explosive moves like running and jumping. Iliotibial Band Syndrome is a common condition for runners that results in knee pain.
How to identify?
If you feel pain on the outside of your knee, particularly while bending it, this may be a sign that you are dealing with IT pain. It is caused by imbalances in your tensor fasciae latae or gluteus maximus muscles—the two hip-based connection points for your IT band. When these muscles strain your IT band, which connects into your knee and the outside of your shin bone, it can lead to pain in your outer knee.
IT band pain is not very serious. It can be cured by strengthening the neighbouring muscles around the tendon. There are various exercises to reduce IT band pain and also strengthen the muscles surrounding it.
The steps to be followed to conquer IT band pain is:
Rest and ice are effective methods that help to reduce pain.
Massage and Stretching
Experts recommend frequent massage: at least 2-3 times a week. It is not feasible for everyone to take a professional massage this frequently. Therefore, people can opt for a foam roller or a similar self-massage tool.
One should begin strengthening the muscles of the leg as soon as you can perform the exercises without pain.
The exercises to be performed are:
This move stretches the tensor fascia latae, a muscle that runs across the hip and outside of the leg.
Cross the injured leg behind the other leg and lean towards the uninjured side.
Bring your arms down to touch the ankle.
Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 10 times.
Lay down on your left side, with head resting on left arm, knees bend and, stacked.
Place a resistance band just above your knees.
Slowly draw right knee up to open legs like a clamshell.
Build up to 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each leg.
Side leg lift
Start by lying on your left side with legs straight and feet together.
Lift your right leg straight up, and then move it down in the same direction.
Build up to 3 sets of 10 reps for each leg.
Once you can do this with no pain, then you can lift the body in a side plank position to do the same.
Start standing and shift weight to the right leg.
Balancing on the right foot, send hips back and bend right knee to lower one-quarter of the way down into a squat.
Make sure the knee stays straight over the foot and does not collapse inward. Extend arms straight out for balance.
Stand on your right foot with left leg slightly bent.
Bend your left hip, so it is several inches below your right hip.
Use your right hip muscle to lift your left hip back to its starting position.
Do 20 reps on each side.
As you get stronger, and the pain decreases, test the injured leg with short runs, that can be extended as long it is not causing a limp. Continue strengthening after you have resumed training to prevent further injury.
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